In order to return to my normal weight… today both Geoff and I started the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet. Its not too different to our usual fare except for one MAJOR thing: carbs. We eat a lot of pasta. It’s so damn easy, it’s so tasty. This is a higher protein, low carb diet. We aren’t specifically doing the exercise thing (yet) one thing at a time. It also limits snacking and soft-drink/juices.

Naturally I am hungry for snacks I don’t usually eat.

I currently weigh (approx, due to the fluxuating nature of your weight when breastfeeding) around 68kg. I would like by mid year to have lost 10kg, this is lower than my pre-pregnancy weight but I could’ve afforded to lose a few back then.

Tonight’s dinner smell delicious. Roast Lemon Thyme Chicken with red onion and pumpkin and steamed greens. Salad Rolls for lunch and Museli for Breakfast with a few bits of fruit for snacking on.

The other benefit of this small experiment is that we will cook a greater variety of food. I am a tad overwhelmed by the basics in some sense but practically it should be quite easy to follow. I need to sit down and sort a few things out so our grocery bill wont be astronomical – because theoretically that should improve too.

Day 1. 68kg. Muesli, Salad Roll, Fruit, Chicken.

Bookclub tonight. Oh dear, I do hope my pastry chef sister doesn’t bring something too good to pass up or there goes one of my 2 indulgences for the week.

Coffee and tea are allowed. This is rather important, I would probably not be trying this otherwise.

Cooking Experiments Life

With Geoff as a teacher and now me as a mum/working from home, we finally have a long summer holiday that overlaps. Claire is grunting away in her cot where I hope she will make it to 11am. Geoff is on his ipad playing some kind of game and drinking an enormous coffee. I am in the study, moseying about on the computer with my empty cup beside me after an excellent sleep-in where I was out about as cold as you can get. I love lazy mornings.

Later this month we are going away for four days for our first ‘family holiday’. I let myself be controlled by my spend thrift, tight ass brain and it nearly didn’t happen. We need to make these memories.

Some of my fondest memories are of family holidays, some of them are bitter and akin to gale force winds while camping with wombats shoving their faces and bums at you through a tent, all out wars over board games and endless maths homework in the retro’est of shacks with the worst weather while being sick. But most of them are of togetherness, fun, family, seeing new places and trying new things. Of climbing the Pinnacle in the Grampians. Of hiking up the top of a mountain in the Flinders ranges – just me and dad, of lying on the beach in Mallacoota scouring the paper to see if I’d made it in for a study score over 40, of canasta and 500, of tenting with Laura while the rest of the family were in a caravan, of lazy afternoons reading on the beach, icecream in Sorrento, walking the back-beach in Rye, damper and campfires and marshmallows and bagpipes in the middle of nowhere, of walks by myself in early morning up lonely hills, roadtrips with time passing games, and card game after board game after card game.

My family did holidays real good. I’d like to do the same.


Holidays Life

“Photography is not good at very many things- it is a poor storyteller if what you want is a didactic or linear narrative. You can read a book for that. Rather, photography is uniquely suited for addressing the ‘ever-passing present moment’ – which really means it’s more akin to poetry. It is good at emphasizing certain notes, tones, elements, and emotions – and lingering on them in time and space long enough to feel awkward, compelled, agitated, soothed, or simply paused… even struck… urged to reconcile with the moment that you are viewing.” – Kurt Simonson

pinched from Lehua Noelle

Photography Words

A while back (probably on one of those optomistic ‘I’m going to post lots!’ posts) someone requested that I write a bit more about pregnancy/parenthood. I totally missed the boat writing about being pregnant (maybe next time), so perhaps a little about parenthood as we observe how others do things and give it our best crack, so perhaps you can observe and learn from our mistakes and experiments.

My average day (at home and not during holidays) with a six month old to offer some kind of vague idea is something like this:

Wake up a 7am and feed Claire, if she makes it to 7, hooray! (This has not been the case the past few weeks, damn teeth). Change nappy, find cute clothes (of which we own far too many because my mother has scourged and purged all of Melbourne’s opshops of their finest girls clothes – I’m sorry everybody).

Then we have a play on the rug out in the lounge-room together, I leave her to her own devices: toys, schemes etc. while I make breakfast and tea – although I usually hesitate with the tea and decide to wait until she’s back in bed so I can enjoy it properly, or I have two cups. She watches me eat. Wears out pretty quick in the morning so it’s back to bed by about 8.30am.

I then have that cup of tea and attempt to sit down and journal/pray on a good day, then I clean some of the house or I go straight to um… the computer – to which I am still sorely addicted. To either Facebook or Lightroom and sometimes Pinterest. After a really bad night (not too often) I’ll go back to bed, but I always feel like it’s a bit of a waste of time…

Claire is ‘supposed’ to sleep to 11am. She now usually makes it to 10.30am. If she wakes up before this I change her nappy and put her back to bed.

She gets up, feeds and we play or read books – I’m a huge advocate for reading lots of books – Peepo is still the favourite, or if I need to clean up in her room she plays on the floor in there or I fold washing or something while she kicks around on the floor, sometimes put some music on. Has some ‘solid’ food at lunch time… still trying to coordinate how to get her and my lunch happening at the same time and I’m still trying to sort out the wide world of food for babies (which mildly terrifies me because a) there are so many things they can try and should try and can’t always try just yet b) I’m quite unorganised in this department. Consequently I am using purees despite a bit of a desire to run with baby-led weaning, but I’m hoping to change that now she’s hit the 6 month mark.

Back to bed 12.30-1pm for her and I do whatever in the afternoon.

Up between 2-3pm, feeds again. More playing etc. get outside, in an ideal world go for a walk… Down at 4.30pm up at 5.15pm and a play and some more solid food. Cranky time. Dad gets home and all is happy again and I palm her off to Geoff. Bath and feed and then bed by 6.30-7pm. Then we eat dinner and typically crash infront of the TV, or I hole up in the study and edit photos.

Stay up until 10.30pm, when I feed her again and then usually hit the hay. She’ll wake up once (mostly) about 2 or 3am and feed and go straight back to sleep, as do I. And fingers crossed for a 7am start again.


Essentially I run with a ‘flexible’ routine. Based roughly on the Save our Sleep stuff – some of which is bollocks, but it provides a reasonable framework. I don’t let it stop me leaving the house and I know a few crucial things that help make things just work eg. that 4.30pm nap is an important one! I’m still working out solid food for her and the reduction in sleep that happens around this age along with the joys of teething.

Tip from me to you: for babies who detest baths, let them sit up (not recline leisurely) and introduce bath toys… it took us 5 and a half months to work this out.

Ask me anything.

Baby Life

I read 25 books in 2012. I made my goal. Just.

I was going to step out every single one of them but I think perhaps a few key mentions.

Some of the best of a medium book year.

Bringing up Bebe – Pamela Druckerman
I had a baby this year. That’s big. This book is authentic. Interesting and needless to say, relevant. Except that I am not in France. I wish I was in France.

The Lacuna – Barbara Kingsolver
Not what I expected. Hard work. Somewhat haunting. I feel like I didn’t know enough of the history to do it justice.

Le Grand Meaulnes – Alain Fournier
Immensely satisfying and devastating. A bookclub read. The whole thing dripped of unfairness and lost childhood.

The Go-Between – L.P. Hartley
The pawn in a lovers game. This was brilliant. A rich read. Another bookclub selection.

The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
I really didn’t think much of the first half at all, much to the disgust of Catherine… however there was something about this book. Poignant like the Little Prince. Perhaps it was trying a little hard but it plucked at insights with deft fingers and caught you up before you realised it.

The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
Definitely the most fun read of the year. Loved it! Best page tuner since Harry Potter. A genre right up my alley and surprisingly well crafted despite it’s popularity.

So there you have it the overview overlap: baby, hard work, satisfying, rich, poignant, fun.

My year.

And for 2013?

Books: I hope to read at least 30 and delve into some which I have had the intention of reading for quite some time, beginning with Great Expectations (with a little Terry Pratchett on the side to keep things amusing) and to return to some theological/poetic reads to keep the mind and heart turning, beginning with Simple Spirituality (which I have already started) and a little Le’Engle on the side.

Life: To be more present. To be more creative and intentional in how I spend my time.

Follow what I’m reading on Goodreads (PS. this site ticks lots of my boxes: books, stats, lists, categorisation. Love it.)

…oh yeah, I totally stole this post idea from Christop

Books Experiments Life